Leaving M/H on hook-up when not in use (especially during winter) de-humidifiers and vermin control

Nov 6, 2018
63
39
Funster No
57,115
MH
Eura Mobil integra
Exp
New
Hi all,

I’ve saved up a few queries:

1. M/H on hook-up at home

We’ve tended to leave the motorhome on hook up a lot of the time when parked up at home, but I’ve read conflicting reports about the wisdom of doing so - that it might have an impact on the leisure batteries of some sort? We haven’t noticed any issues with the batteries so far, but this is only our second winter with the M/H so don’t know if I’m storing up trouble for the future. We’ve got two leisure batteries and a 100W solar panel and additional control paraphernalia but there are a couple of (what I assume are) security lights that seem to flash on and off constantly, so worried about the draw on the batteries without hook-up when not being used regularly.

2. De-humidifier

Another reason for wanting it on hookup is that I’d like to run a de-humidifier throughout the winter, especially as we’ve just had a major damp repair done - and want to make sure we’re helping along any further drying out that might be going on.

3. Vermin control

I’ve also read that some people keep a little oil fired radiator on in their M/H during winter - but wondering if this actively invites the local wildlife to nest down in comfort? We once had a mice infestation in our old caravan - it wasn’t pretty - so keen to avoid a repeat. We don’t keep any food in the M/H to discourage invasion, but wonder if a heater will attract rodents?

Thanks very much for any advice
 
Jan 19, 2014
5,470
13,611
Derbyshire
Funster No
29,757
MH
Elddis Accordo 105
Exp
since 2014
What type of battery charger do you have? Some cheap ones are just 13.8v power supplies and aren't as good as proper 3 stage chargers.

I put a pile of mouse poison under ours in a jam jar lid, they come and have a feast once a year. Our van is in the garage though.
 
Feb 21, 2016
3,681
10,736
Uk
Funster No
41,726
MH
C class
Exp
Since 2017
Hello.
Your van will probably have an inbuilt battery charger that controls the flow between leisure and vehicle batteries and also ensures you don’t cook them. If not you need something like a battery master. Techie answers will follow from the boffins who know all about such things.
IMO you shouldn’t need a dehumidifier. It’s either letting in water or it isn’t. Use a damp meter to check it. If it’s damp,take it back to repairer. If it isn’t damp,don’t waste time/money on dehumidifier.
Vermin...put traps down.

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Sep 16, 2016
5,085
14,417
Near the junction of the A14 and A1, Cambs
Funster No
45,145
MH
Elddis Autoquest 175
Exp
Since 2010
We leave our MH on EHU to keep the batteries conditioned with the Victron multi stage smart charger and leave the diesel heater on the frost guard setting which maintains about 5C in the MH.
Water drained down and taps open.

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Apr 3, 2018
1,121
2,433
Funster No
53,151
MH
PVC
Exp
1995-2004 & 2017》
Moho on drive... no EHU no heat.. no dehumidifier..no traps.
Solar to look after batteries or on the very very rare occasion batteries get low then a quick charge with stand alone charger.
 
Apr 19, 2019
670
1,047
Funster No
60,021
MH
Carado T339
Exp
5 years
Don't do anything with ours, I let the solar take care of the batteries.
Hey Lenny. You should know it the same thing. The battery doesn't know where the charging current is coming from........unless it can sense different types of electricity!

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Nov 3, 2020
142
511
Funster No
77,452
MH
Ace Siena
Exp
Since 2019
I love these threads. There are so many "right" ways of doing things and every answer comes with the confidence of someone for whom it obviously works. I guess it's very much a matter of "you pays your money and you takes your chance".

For what it's worth, the moho is on the drive on hookup and the dehumidifier is plugged in. Everything is drained down, taps open etc. At the moment, the fridge is on because we've been using it as overflow storage for the Christmas feast that wasn't but otherwise everything else is shut down including the heater.

As far as the dehumidifier goes, we only have one because we used it on the boat we had before we became landlubbers. It's on an auto setting and doesn't run itself very often as far as I can tell. It certainly gives an extra layer of protection against the dreaded condensation, along with those handy fridge vent covers that you can get that do cut down airflow into the van.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
29,020
49,919
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
along with those handy fridge vent covers that you can get that do cut down airflow into the van.
If you have an airflow into the van from the fridge vents the fridge has been incorrectly installed. The rear of the fridge should be room sealed from the van interior for safety.
 
Nov 3, 2020
142
511
Funster No
77,452
MH
Ace Siena
Exp
Since 2019
If you have an airflow into the van from the fridge vents the fridge has been incorrectly installed. The rear of the fridge should be room sealed from the van interior for safety.
It probably is - just my assumption that sticking the vent covers on does more than reduce air circulation in an already sealed (from the habitation) area. Luckily the vent covers were an eBay bargain but from what you are saying, an unnecessary addition to the winterisation process?

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Apr 3, 2018
1,121
2,433
Funster No
53,151
MH
PVC
Exp
1995-2004 & 2017》
Yes
But it may (just) deter spiders from nesting inside (in the wrong place).
Not if same as my covers... they don't fully seal vents so you can use in winter with enough ventilation to use fridge.

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denisejoe

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 6, 2014
4,066
6,514
Warden isle of sheppy
Funster No
32,702
MH
A Class
Exp
Since 2004
The will be air getting because if there wasn’t and you were away in the van and didn’t go out for a couple of days because it was pouring down I think all the oxygen would be used up? and if you have to empty the dehumidifier then when you open the door your just letting more moist air in.

ps warm air holds more moisture
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
4,152
3,087
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
1. M/H on hook-up at home:
It’s probably fine. I think that many do this but dealers don’t (and neither do I). If it’s at home you have the luxury to pop in from time to time and check things over (I try to do this on 1st of each month). If batteries are getting low, I connect-up temporarily and charge them up again. Remember to switch the fridge off. Keep your EHU cable inside and save a few pennies. You might otherwise get sued by someone who manages to trip over it! The flashing lights should not be drawing anything significant but your control panel might tell you. Look and see how much drain occurs this month (the worst of the year for solar) and use thar as a guide. Keeping an eye on the things that matter will soon give you a guide for adequate management.

2. De-humidifier:
Any damp should have gone by now, so you should not need a humidifier and further drying might even cause cracks to appear. A humidifier will cost you unnecessary pennies as it tries to remove moisture from the atmosphere and then you need to remove the water it collects. It may seem contrary to intuition, but the best way to keep condensation down is to open the top vents a crack and let the air in to circulate. Leave cupboard door open and cushions up-turned (if you cannot take them in). Keep curtains away from cold surfaces (or take them in, too). Again, you’ll see that dealers don’t do anything more elaborate than that and they don’t want to invite expensive problems either.

3. Vermin control:
A difficult one. If vermin get into your van they’ll probably like it and stay, especially if it’s warm as well as dry. You cannot leave bait outside because pets and other wildlife might find it (and it will attract the vermin). Remove anything sweet-smelling as well as food – I’ve had something gnaw at a bar of soap – vermin have inquisitive noses. There may be odours that repel vermin but I’m not aware of them and you might not like them either. Don’t bother with electronic devices – the ones I’ve tried don’t work. Maybe some cat food under the van but not too much – I imagine that a hungry cat is a better mouser than a satisfied one.
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
10,659
29,953
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
We leave the MH on EHU as it has a battery management system so I think there is less risk leaving it on rather than not and allowing the batteries to drain beyond redemption when I forget to put the EHU back on.

There is a de-humidifier in the van which will draw moisture in from outside of course but I think that it aids air circulation.

We have an utlra-sonic vermin deterrant thingy plugged in. I don't know how good they are. We also have bait boxes in places where we think rodents are likely to have their run - proper bait boxes - as we don't have dogs or cats but hens it's not so likely that pets or other wildlife will be harmed by the use of the bait boxes. In out previous van we did have a visit from Micky or Minnie and used the sticky pad traps. Nasty things those but very effective.

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Sep 1, 2019
753
2,998
Funster No
63,720
MH
Hymer 588
Exp
Since 2011
If you have big solar you possibly won't need it otherwise yes plug it in, you would if you were on a site long term.
 
OP
S
Nov 6, 2018
63
39
Funster No
57,115
MH
Eura Mobil integra
Exp
New
Dear all,

Thanks so much for all the helpful replies. I need to pop out and check the details, but I think there is a pretty efficient battery management system. But I only have the one solar panel and did notice when I went out to drain down the water that the battery levels were at the lower end of the acceptable range - one on 12.6 but the other on around 12.4 - and that was in Nov rather than Dec, when things are that bit darker. This was after it had been off EHU for a while.

Anyway, it sounds like many of you leave it on EHU without difficulty, but fewer positive votes for a de-humidifier or heater? I was thinking of one of those dehumidifiers that has a drain outlet you can have running into the sink, but possibly less useful than cracking open the skylight?

We’ve got 3 cats and haven’t had an infestation yet - so hopefully it will stay that way - sounds like most of you don’t bother with a low level heater over the winter anyway, so less reason for rodents to nest down if I keep things nice and chilly.

You have reminded me to belatedly get the fridge vents on though - thanks lot. I too don’t get draughts - I thought the vents were partly why - because the fridge is sealed from the inside of the van, so venting must take place on the exterior?

Thanks again.
 
Jun 13, 2020
78
63
Garden of England
Funster No
71,710
MH
Hymer ML T570
Hi, this may well help you..
I recently got a -

Caframo - 'Stor-Dry' Air Heater & Circulator.

It is a low wattage warm air circulator for autumn/winter when your motorhome or campervan is laid up for a while.
It is primarily sold to the marine sector, but for obvious reasons the unit is applicable to motorhome/campervan and caravan owners.
It claims to combat mould, mildew and musty odours.
The unit uses a low wattage heating element and internal fan to both heat and circulate the air.
The heat and circulation prevents stale air pockets which in turn prevents mould or mildew from forming as suggested in one of the previous posts.
I feel this unit works far better than a de-humidifier which will suck the moisture out of things , which could prove detrimental in certain circumstances.
I like the idea that it does not require periodic emptying also.
I have used, and I am currently using the unit in my motorhome this autumn/winter, and so far so good.
I'm impressed with the results!

It will work when powered on EHU or with the use of a separate power supply.

The makers advertised Key Features for the unit are-
Combats mould and mildew
No reservoir to empty
Draws less than 75 watts
Will not rust or corrode
Noise free
240v
Fitted with a 2 pin EU plug, and supplied with a UK 3 pin adapter too

IMG_2241.JPG IMG_2242.JPG

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Last edited:
OP
S
Nov 6, 2018
63
39
Funster No
57,115
MH
Eura Mobil integra
Exp
New
Thanks a lot Wizz - that certainly looks like an interesting option - I’ll look into it.
 
Mar 30, 2019
730
937
East Sussex
Funster No
59,486
MH
Trigano Tribute
Exp
Since 2017
I have large solar panel 255watt and Votronic controller which I’ve got a mini low voltage dehumidifier set up from a relay that comes on when the batteries are full. Keeps my batteries topped up and the van dry.
Don’t need to plug in with this setup.
I just leave all the cupboards and internal doors a jar.
 
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